Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Trouble with Money

Good news! I have the preliminary mock up for my new financial book, The Trouble with Money. It may change a bit from this but it will be very similar. (the swirl is a watermark that will not be on the final)

The book is basically a look at what hang ups people have about money and why. Then I discuss how these money habits or erroneous beliefs can get them in really deep S*** financially and what to do about it.
It is interesting that I receive a certain amount of criticism for discussing money and financial issues so openly. Most people know that I have a strong background in finance, experience in the financial industry, and an MBA. But because my main source of income is writing they seem to believe that I'm not supposed to be interested in, or know anything about, money.
I'm sure all the business people out there are reading this thinking, "WHAT??" Exactly. Everything I do, whether that is writing, consulting, selling on the Internet, or playing poker is done from a business mindset. This does not mean that I only think about money, but it does play a part in what choices I make and where I choose to spend my time.
Often people just think about money as the amount in their bank account and they judge how they are doing in life by that amount. What they don't think about is money in relation to time. If you run out of money, screw up your credit score, or blow your retirement account on jet skis and tequila, it can be fixed, repaired or sold on Ebay (except for the used Tequila). But if you run out of time, that's it. There is no more and no second chance.
Time is and always will be your only non-renewable resource and as such, is the most valuable thing you have. This is why I am such an advocate about everything that I do bringing in the maximum dollar amount possible while taking the least amount of time. I know time is infinitely more valuable than money and spending time stressing over financial crises is a waste of life's most valuable commodity - especially when you could spend that time DOING something about it.
When I look back and think of all the time I wasted in endeavors that didn't serve me in the long run, it made me very conscious of how easily it could have been avoided and the financial issues in my life smoothed out. With the economy in a bit a slump there are millions of people living on the edge of that same financial chaos having no idea how to help themselves. I hope some of them will use some of their most valuable asset (their time) to read this book and understand that there is no financial crisis you can face that is hopeless. The release is set for fall and I hope you all will check it out.

Monday, April 14, 2008

WPT Ladies Event....

As many of you know, I'm currently in Vegas indulging my poker playing. It is sort of my 'secret life' that isn't really secret. Last night was the WPT Ladies event and I placed 26th (or 27th I'm not sure which) out of a field of 150. Not bad, but not in the money. It is really interesting how you can feel irritated when you play bad (even if you cash) but feel good when you don't get into the money because you played well. Part of the psychology of poker I suppose.

Speaking of which, I pulled up Travis' blog this morning and he had a post about Amarillo Slim ( One line really caught my attention - he said : "Gamblers tend to be motivated by one of two things, cold hard cash, or fame. " of the time it's neither. Of course I'm speaking of poker players specifically but I can tell you that for the vast majority it's not about the money or getting your face on TV.

It has been said that playing poker is a hard way to make an easy living. Very few individuals make enough money over the long term to gamble full time as a profession - so why do they do it? Interestingly enough, the motivation of a gambler and of writers are virtually identical. They both work in industries that 'look' easy to outsiders. The population at large assumes they have fortune and fame at their fingertips and want for nothing. In reality, most have traveled a very hard road filled with years of hard work, trial and error, and massive rejection or failure.

The motivation of both of these professions is not money. It is not fame. It is the desire to be good enough. The desire to be the best. For the writer, the years of struggle that culminate in a book finally being published are deemed 'worth it' when their book is placed on a shelf shoulder to shoulder with Nora Roberts, John Grisham, or Tom Clancy. Does it matter that they made almost nothing in the transaction? Does it matter that 35 agents once rejected the manuscript? Does it matter that they probably don't have a prayer to hit a list? NO. What matters is that they were good enough. They competed and were recognized. Their emotions wouldn't be more intense if they'd made a million, what matters is that they won the race.

Poker feeds these same emotional needs. Like writing, it is one of the few arenas where anyone can play, but only the best win. It doesn't matter if you're a millionaire or a reject from white trash land, you stand equally side by side with the best in the world and you compete. You sit down shoulder to shoulder, as I did last night, with individuals who have literally won millions playing the game and you try your hardest. I sat at a table last night with Kathy Leibert, a woman who has won millions playing poker and just last week got second at the WPT event at Foxwoods. We played, we talked and we enjoyed the event. In the end, I was 26th and Kathy was 20th.

I am good enough, I can compete, and I will win the race - that's what matters.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

New books plus Vegas.....

A quick update since its Saturday and I have so much to do that I don't know where to I'm starting with a blog to get the creativity flowing. There is so much going on that I divided it into sections:

My books:

I have several in the works as always. The one that will be coming out in a couple of months is a book called: IRAs & IRA Investing. It's for Atlantic Publishing and will be great info for those of you who are interested in retirement investing. It was my specialty when I was at Prudential and I sure don't want to let that knowledge base go to waste. The cover is a little bland but I'm sure they are trying to convey a 'serious' tone. I think a cute little piggy bank would sell better though. Here's a preview -

We are also doing "I'll Start Monday" which is a diet and health book to support UC Fit. We have partnered with a guy who is starting the program and the book will be part of the launch in the fall. It is being done by TAG Publishing and will be available by August. As soon as I have the cover I'll post it and see what you all think.

I'm also doing another book called "The Trouble with Money" It is a book about the hang ups people have with money that keep them from making more money or that encourage them to make poor financial decisions. Its how to move from financial chaos to an investor mindset to turn your financial life around - and it WILL have a cute cover that is less intimidating and more about helping real people with real problems. This one is also being published by TAG Publishing.

On the ghostwriting front:

We have a conference call with five new writers(new to us anyway) that will be coming on with our group this summer. They come from a variety of writing backgrounds but all have strengths in various areas so we're looking forward to them coming on. We are just now hitting the busy season and so we want to be as prepared as we possibly can to handle the volume. We expect to top 100 projects by the end of the season and so will at least double our output from last year. We are still looking for more writers, but are being very choosy.


Off to Vegas again this week (Thurs-Tues) to play with the big boys. On Friday I'm playing a satellite into the Five Diamond Classic at the Bellagio and on Sunday I'm playing in the WPT Ladies event. Wish me luck!